Founded in the Autumn of 1962 by John Lewis (2)
, in collaboration with Gunther Schuller
and Harold Farberman
. The orchestra was made up of both jazz and classical musicians and gave its debut concert in December 1962, at the Philharmonic Hall in New York's Lincoln Center of the Performing Arts. The first recording session of the complete formation took place on January 12, 1963 (New York City). The orchestra was one of the exponents of the so-called "Third Stream" movement (a blending of jazz and classical music) and was dissolved in 1965.